Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past while, you’ve undoubtedly heard quite a bit of fuss being made about plastic. More specifically, micro plastics and plastic pollution in our oceans.
UNESCO estimate that 8 million tons of plastic are dumped into our oceans every year. That includes around 350 million plastic bottles.
Plastic takes 100s of years to degrade, and even then, it doesn’t completely go away. It just breaks up into smaller pieces. This poses a great danger to ocean life. Smaller plastics are easily ingested by all sorts of marine life and causes ocean hypoxia. (Fancy term for choking the ocean.)
Once microplastics make their way into our water system, they are almost impossible to get out. Micro plastics fibres have even been found in bottled water. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/15/microplastics-found-in-more-than-90-of-bottled-water-study-says
The worrying part is that plastic fibres can absorb toxins and store them. Which really can’t be good in our drinking water and food.
Fret not! There are simple but effective steps you can take to help fight this problem.
- Use a refillable water bottle instead of buying a new one each time. We loves these ones from Green Tulip Ethical Living -https://www.greentulip.co.uk/gift-finder/for-him/kitchen-and-dining-for-him/retap-05-bottle-light-blue.html
- Buy cotton buds without plastic. There are many alternatives out there now. Companies are now making their buds with cardboard sticks rather than plastic. Read more here: https://www.cottonbudproject.org.uk/
- Buy a nice shopping bag. Roll it up and keep it in your handbag or boot of your car. Use this instead of taking plastic shopping bags at the supermarket. (Any excuse to buy a new bag..right?). Ulster Weavers do some pretty lovely ones you can get online - https://www.ulsterweavers.com/bags/shopping-bags
- Ditch the plastic straws. Use pretty cardboard ones or buy some metal ones. They are way cooler anyway. https://www.greentulip.co.uk/kitchen-and-dining/reusable-bottles/reusable-stainless-steel-straws-set-of-2.html
At Howes, we use glass bottles instead of plastic. We are also moving towards using even less plastic in our packaging. From June this year, our lip balms will be sold in metal tins rather than plastic tubes.
Some chilling facts from Unesco
- The United Nations Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains 46,000 pieces of floating plastic.
- Over 220 million tons of plastic are produced each year.
- Plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than 100,000 marine mammals.
- Once discarded, plastics are weathered and eroded into very small fragments known as micro-plastics. These together with plastic pellets are already found in most beaches around the world.
Read more here: